When you want to improve your free motion quilting skills, there’s one thing you need to do: practice, practice, practice! Okay, maybe that’s three things, but it’s the only way to really get better at this technique. I wanted to share an easy project with you that will allow you to practice free motion quilting without having to worry about making it “perfect”.
In this project, I used free motion quilting to create flowers, stems and leaves on the Janome Continental M7. It’s a fun way to practice free motion quilting and you can use a variety of thread colours to customize your design.I created this design using the Janome Continental M7and there are several features on it that made this project easy. First, the large throat space and the excellent lighting on the machine meant that I didn’t have to scrunch up my fabric to fit it in the machine throat space and I could easily see what I was stitching. The Janome M7 has 3 different lighting areas which are each individually controlled so you can determine the amount of light that you want when you’re stitching.
As this was a free motion quilting project, I was able to pick my favourite free motion quilting foot – the PD-H open toe foot – and choose the appropriate needle plate – the straight stitch one, which set me up well for what was to come. There are several feet available for free motion quilting with the Janome M7 but I often choose this one as I like the visibility it gives me.
I also appreciate that I don’t have to figure out the best settings for free motion quilting as the Janome M7 has several options. I often think that my Janome machine is smarter than I am and the M7 is no different. By choosing the “free motion” setting, the feed dogs automatically drop and the tension is set. I can go with the automatic default settings but I can also tweak the settings if I choose to do so.
My favourite feature on the Janome M7 that really helps me with free motion quilting is the speed control. I can set the machine speed so that the M7 stitches at a consistent, comfortable speed when I have the foot pedal pressed all the way to the floor. This is so helpful, especially when I’m creating a design like this where I need to focus on what and where I’m stitching.
In this design, I switched out threads several times and the Janome M7 needle threader made this so easy. It only took a few seconds to change to another thread and the needle threader works perfectly every time.
For specific details with step-by-step instructions on how to make these free motion quilted scribble flowers on the Janome M7, click on the image below.
Happy creating from Kim Jamieson-Hirst, a Janome Canada Artisan in Calgary, Alberta.